The Girl Next Door

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Suburbia in the 1950s, a dark side emerging in the Chandler house for teenage Meg and her crippled little sister Susan - captive to an Aunt, who is rapidly descending into madness. "The Girl Next Door is alive.... in a way most works of poplular fiction never attain; it does not just promise terror but actually delievers it. But it's a page-turner, all right; no doubt about that." - Stephen King

A psychological horror novel in which an evil woman compels the ...

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Overview

Suburbia in the 1950s, a dark side emerging in the Chandler house for teenage Meg and her crippled little sister Susan - captive to an Aunt, who is rapidly descending into madness. "The Girl Next Door is alive.... in a way most works of poplular fiction never attain; it does not just promise terror but actually delievers it. But it's a page-turner, all right; no doubt about that." - Stephen King

A psychological horror novel in which an evil woman compels the neighborhood children to torture a young girl.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780843955439
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 370
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Ketchum’s debut novel, Off Season (1981)—an updating of the Sawney Beane story—prompted The Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher for publishing violent pornography. Since then, he has published 12 additional novels and several short story collections. He has won numerous Bram Stoker Awards, including Best Collection 2003 (Peaceable Kingdom), Best Long Fiction 2003 (Closing Time), Best Short Fiction 2000 (Gone), and Best Short Fiction 1994 (The Box). Four of his books were recently filmed as movies: The Lost (2001), The Girl Next Door (2005), Red (2008) and Offspring (2009). Ketchum is one of the most exciting and well-respected horror authors on the market today.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 98 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(62)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 99 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008

    Wow

    This is one of those books that once you have read the last word on the last page, you sit there for a moment and just think about everything that just happened. This book grabs you...hard. It rips and tears at your mind making you just wish that a happy ending would hurry up and come. Towards the end of the story, I felt the urge to just chuck the book across the room because of the anger I felt towards what was happening in the story. Its been a while since I've read a story so honest, daring, and twisted. A highly suggested read, if you can stomach it.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    I can't believe anyone, no matter what the age, could be stupid enough to not tell someone that a girl was being tortured for weeks, let alone months. There were other GIRLS there also, not just stupid boys. I think it's unbelievable that MORE THAN one person was that stupid.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    Author, fan

    Intense, once you start you can not stop. Once you finished you will never be the same.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    deep psychological study

    Suburban 1950s New Jersey is a great place to raise kids just ask twelve year old David, who loves playing in his idyllic neighborhood where crime is nonexistent. Next door Ruth Chandler, single mother of David¿s best friend Donny and two brothers, takes in two young distant cousins whose parents died in a horrific automobile accident. The older sister fourteen years old Meg seems to have fully recovered the younger sibling Susan needs crutches and wears heavy metal braces on her legs while mentally she is totally broken. David is immediately attracted to the lovely Meg and they begin meeting at places like 'Big Rock¿ they make a charming cute couple. Ruth lives in the past when she was the office manager of a large firm she hates suburbia and being saddled with five children. She takes her growing rage out on her new charges, physically and mentally abusing Meg and Susan, especially Meg who reminds her of all she gave up to have kids. Her sons by omission support her actions. David also knows that Ruth is violent towards Meg, but though he loathes what she is doing, he is also fascinated by her dehumanizing the one person who reminds her how far she has fallen. --- This reprint of a 1989 deep psychological study focuses on the watcher-narrator David who learns about abuse and helplessness when he fascinatingly observes the pain a human inflicts on another while neighbors ignore the truth. The story line hooks the audience from the opening line as a wizened David understands pain and never lets go as the serene middle class suburban neighborhood enables ugliness to hide behind the scene (mindful of the Kitty Genovese killing in 1964 Queens). This book also includes two short stories and an interview with Jack Ketchum, but cannot be considered padding since the novel is 340 pages. Readers will be shocked by the horror of customized violence that society chooses to ignore when it happens to THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. --- Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Amazing!

    Wow. This book left me feeling sad and mad. Sad for the girl, she fought til the end. No matter what they did. Angry....David! So dissapointing how he acted towards this. Yes he kind stood up at the end but how count he know it was wrong from the start. Idk im confused on what i feel towards david

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    A page turner!

    Very good. Sad that it was based on a true story. Had to watch the movie on Netflix afterwards!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2012

    I would highly recommend this book to family and friends. Mainly, our society turns its back even in this day and time on the bad. We still say let someone else do something about it.

    I retired from the U.S.A.F.,(Disabled), October 1, 1994. I worked in the SPI Career Field. This stands for: Securiy Police Investigations. We investigated crimes,etc. involving military personnel. Yes, many times we investigated fathers/mothers who molelested their daughters or sons. So, I can relate to this book. I can relate to this book and to the movie. It open old wounds again. i wish every junior/senior,both in highscholl and college should be part o their reading. Then, have discussion groups afterwords. Thank You, Mr.Ketchum for your stand on your writting of this material that our society still seems to try and hide or still say let someone else handle it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Disturbing, fascinating...excellent writing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Powerful and moving, the story of the loss of innocence

    No one can say that this story lacks nostalgia; it is however overshadowed by events that are hard to read, moments so painful that sometimes the reader is left in discomfort (but hungry for revenge). Perhaps when it comes to harming kids, certain emotions kick into higher gear, horror stories that involve adults never tug at me as much as stories where defenseless youngsters get the unfortunate piece of life, especially if they were good kids who didn't deserve even the slightest form of punishment. This story however is about two kinds of kids, the good ones and the ones who know no empathy and no boundaries, dark souls that manage to cause some psychical and psychological harm.

    Told from the point of view of young David, the tale takes on personal feel when the boy takes interest in Meg, a bright young girl who moves in with the family next door. Along with her younger sister Susan, she is a survivor of a car crash that claimed the lives of her parents, moving in with her relatives seemed like a good a good idea until aunt Ruth started to act strange. Drinking her beer and letting her boys loose she was a tough feisty woman, one that you can't say no to, one that will punish you in bizarre and cruel ways, one that can destroy a young soul and send it to brims of pain and humiliation. This was a powerful and moving book, one that made me angry and wishing I could have appeared in it with a weapon ready to kick some @ss. This is a story that takes a life of its own, one that will change you for a while with its moving and descriptive -sometimes too descriptive, language. This was a great read from Ketchum, worth the hype and it delivers, it's simply a great story, read it.

    - Kasia S.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    This is a very intense story. The material is shocking, but deli

    This is a very intense story. The material is shocking, but delivered masterfully. Jack Ketchum is one of the best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    Disturbing is all that comes to mind. I knew by others reviews I

    Disturbing is all that comes to mind. I knew by others reviews I was in
    for a roller coaster ride, but I went foward and bought the book anyway.
    It was one of them books where you dont want to read anymore and your
    totally disgusted at what is going on, but you cannot stop yourself from
    finsihing it....I just wanted to see a happy ending for this girl. You
    will have to read it for yourself to find out if there was truly a happy
    ending I wont give it away. I think I would of like the book more if it
    was not a true story......Disturbing

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Heart wrenching

    A wonderful read, good diction, and tugs at your heart strings the whole way. Wouldn't recommend this book to everyone, due to it's extreme content, but if you are up to an emotional roller coaster. Give this a read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Horrific (and I love gory books)

    I love horrific, bloody and decriptive books and movies, but this one was too much. I don't know if it was because it was based on true events or because I have tow little boys now, but this book left me feeling empty, sad and disgusted. The writing was amazing and you could actually picture the kids and Ruth telling these children what to do and that this abuse was ok.....like Hitler and the nazis. I would recommend this book to anyone, but be forewarned-- GIRL NEXT DOOR will stay with you. It's haunting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Horrible & heartbreaking

    The hardest reality for me in this book was nobody told. This was not a clan or a cult but kids from a neighborhood. I know stuff like this happens all over the world but it doesn't make it easier to talk about yet alone report it. This book was wonderfully written but will affect me for a long time to come. Itis not something you can forget over time. When i tell someone about the book and suggest they read it i tell them it is a good book but leaves your heart in pain for past and future victims of abuse

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Simple, brutal, disturbing

    Wow. The most disturbing book I've ever read. The subject matter is at times too much to handle, and often I found myself wishing I could read with my eyes closed.

    Technically speaking, it is a great piece of writing. With simple,honest prose, Ketchum effortlessly draws you in and, for better or for worse, makes the horrific believable.

    This is my first Jack Ketchum novel. I will read more. Many more.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Disturbing

    I read the book and saw the movie and they both really shocked me!I could not believe what this girl went through. It was a bit graphic and disgusting what they did to that girl. Kind of wish I hadn't seen the movie of it. Reading it was bad enough and when you see it on screen, it is even more disturbing. If you want to be disturbed or disgusted then read this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    Changed my mind.

    This I have to say is a pretty upsetting book. I read this with an open mind and I haven't read anything this horrible. I felt bad for the girl that went through all of that. And I'd like to say she had courage to be able to take the abuse the had. Reading this made me hate the mother of the boys. She was horrible and I wanted to jump into the book or back into time and help her get away from that family. No one should have to go through what she had to and this book made me realize how horrible people can actually be.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    The Girl Next Door is amazingly scary

    This was the first Jack Ketchum book I have read and I am HOOKED. This book is disturbing and graphic and SCARY. I adore Stephen King but this guy is like Stephen King on steriods. I want to read everything he's written!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Couldn't put it down!

    Such a sad story. Couldn't quit thinking about it. A very fast read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    Must read

    Great book, could not put down!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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